The European Commission recently announced that the European Union(EU) has sealed a deal with Johnson & Johnson to supply up to 400 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine. This deal is the third advance purchase contract with makers of COVID-19 vaccines after deals with AstraZeneca and Sanofi, bringing the number of doses secured by the EU for its population of 450 million to 1.1 billion.
Under the terms of the deal, the 27 EU states will be able to order up to 400 million doses of the potential vaccine after it is authorised by the EU medicine regulator. The J&J vaccine, which is being developed by its subsidiary Janssen, is based on vector technology, the same used by AstraZeneca. Sanofi’s is a protein-based jab.
In an effort to secure the vaccines, the EU made an undisclosed downpayment to J&J, which confirmed the deal in a statement in which it reiterated plans to allocate up to 500 million additional doses to poorer countries from mid-2021. According to a senior representative from the EU, they were also in talks with Novavax for a seventh vaccine. If it strikes seven deals, the EU would be ahead of Britain and the United States, which each have concluded six supply contracts so far.